Bloaters swimming in right direction

GREAT Yarmouth Town manager Kevin Cruickshank declared himself very happy with the way things have gone since he took over from Nick Banham, writes Gerry Brown.

GREAT Yarmouth Town manager Kevin Cruickshank declared himself very happy with the way things have gone since he took over from Nick Banham, writes Gerry Brown.

“I've really enjoyed being first team manager, and I believe the club is starting to head in the right direction. There is a nucleus of young and talented senior and youth players with a good club spirit amongst them.”

He was confident that next season will see the club make further advances. “The youth team set-up are preparing to produce even more quality players, and with the promise of more local talent being added to the club's senior squad this summer, the hard work to take the club forward can begin.”

The first team has finished in a respectable mid-table position and have shown in recent weeks that they can compete with the top teams in Division One.

After years of struggle by the club to unearth players who can hit the back of the net regularly, the Bloaters now have two, possibly three: Roach and Crawley with 30 goals between them have finished in the top 12 goalscorers in the division despite each playing only half a season, and 16-goal Roach has distinguished himself even more with a top 12 finish in the whole league.

The youth team finished runners-up in the Ridgeons Youth Eastern Division, missing out on the title by a goal difference of one, and Liam Bartley finished top scorer in the East and sixth overall.

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The biggest disappointment must have been with the Reserve team which finished 12th in Anglian Combination Division Two.

Several changes of management and major disruption to the playing strength available each week caused season-long problems which need to be sorted out if the side is to regain senior status and reduce the gap between first and reserve team football at the Wellesley.

Discussions have been taking place for some time now as to the club's team management structure for next season and an announcement cannot be far off.

But Kevin Cruickshank has already thanked all the players for making his time as first team manager so enjoyable: “I would certainly not have taken the task without their confidence and encouragement,” he added.

The new era under chairman Steve Brierley was due to begin straightaway this week with major work commencing on the clubhouse refurbishment. It is also anticipated the Borough Council will commence works on the Grandstand in the very near future.

FIRST TEAM STATISTICS 2007-08

Appearances (max 41): T Gorbould 38 (Agg. 43); M Thompson 37 (109); J Watt 35 (51); L Bartley 31 (69); A Sewell 28; E Pride 26 (39); J Harrison 23 (187); N Crawley 20; G Palmer 17 (20); S Roach 17 (214); D Crane 16; W Lewis 15 (152); S Taylor 15; N Banham 14 (438); T Gardiner 14; J Hardy 14 (40); O Harrison 14 (26); R Oldham 14 (60); P Dyer 13; T Hurd 13; J Underhill 13; A Sullivan 12; J Short 10 (16); D Smith 10; J Buckenham 9; N Drake 9 (216); M Godbold 9; S Watts 8; L Perry 7; B Correia 6; M Davids 6 (107); D Didwell 6 (46); B Hill 5 (46); E Dawes 4; B Le Compte 4 (69); C Owen 4 (11); D Wise 4; D Barnes 3; D Bartram 3 (5); K Hack 3 (27); D Bain 2; R Brett 2; S Cannon 2; A Hayton 2 (28); P Gartland 2; T Bevan 1; G Downs 1; C Hatton 1; C McAra 1; J Reed 1; P Symonds 1.

Goals (total 62): Roach 16 (141); Crawley 14; Thompson 11 (22); Bartley 6 (14); Crane 3; Buckenham 2; Taylor 2; Dawes 1; Palmer 1; Sewell 1; Short 1; Underhill 1; og 1.

The club's annual meeting will take place on Monday, June 16 at 8pm in the clubhouse - members only.

Nominations for the management committee may be made in writing with proposer and seconder and countersigned by the nominee and must be in the hands of the secretary by Monday, June 2.

Any proposed changes to the club rules must also be made in writing with proposer and seconder and be lodged with the secretary by the same date. Secretary: Brian Smith, The Bungalow, Humberstone Farm, Cobholm, Great Yarmouth, NR31 0AZ.